Would you give yourself an electric shock to curb bad habits?

The “Pavlok” electric shock bracelet relies on users to press a button when they feel an urge coming on; promises to help people quit smoking, lose weight, even stop Internet addition

Pavlok, image

As lawyers who represent the families of people who’ve been electrocuted and killed, or who have suffered serious electric shock injuries, many of our cases involve purposeful neglect. Many involve utility companies and other electricity companies that allowed an injury or death to occur by allowing infrastructure and equipment to deteriorate until it became a hidden danger to the public.

But today we’re talking about a device that intentionally shocks people.

Your read that right. This new device is called “Pavlok,” and it uses electric shocks to purportedly zap users out of bad habits.

This bracelet doesn’t cause physical harm to people, and the manufacturer says it hasn’t malfunctioned or resulted in any injury lawsuits.

The Pavlok is touted to help users lose weight, stop smoking, biting their nails or wasting time surfing the Internet. One user, quoted in a story about the device by CBS San Francisco, even uses it to help stop her bad habit of pulling her hair out.

The manufactures say the device creates a “a mild zap with your bad habit, training your brain to stop liking the habit.”

Inside the wristwatch bracelet is a rechargeable battery. Every time the wearer feels a craving, or engages in bad behavior, he or she can push a little button, or activate an app to get a little shock. One user reported the shock feels like a strong flick on the wrist.

The severity of shock is up to the user and comes in several settings, from 50 to 450 volts. Pavlok promises results in up to five days and costs about $200.

The device borrows from Pavlov’s dogs experiment. These are the famous experiments that many of us once learned about in college psychology class 101, where the dogs were repetitively presented a stimulus and then given food. They then began to salivate in response to the stimulus because of its association with the food.

But instead of reinforcing positive behavior, the Pavlok therapy teaches an aversion to the user’s perceived bad habit.

The makers of Pavlok do not recommend it for those who have a pacemaker, may be pregnant, or minors under the age of 18. And the long-term health effects of being shocked by the device are unknown.

Our attorneys would like to hear from you. Would you resort to giving yourself electric shocks to break a bad habit?

What do you think is worse for your health, a sugar addiction, or a sharp electric zap several times daily to zap the sugar addiction out of you?

Related info:

What’s the law for electric shock injury cases?

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